November 26th 2021

Combined Cadet Force from The King’s School, Grantham, on field exercise

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The weekend’s exercise included navigation skills.

For many of the Cadets from the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) at The King’s School, Grantham, this field exercise was their first opportunity to experience the outdoor activities that are such a central part of what the Cadets offer. It was a glorious autumn day and we were able to observe them getting stuck in to the various stands.

The Combined Cadet Force (CCF) at the all-boys The King’s School, Grantham, is like many others in having both an Army section and an RAF section. At King’s, they make the most of the talents of both teams of instructors, and work together to ensure the Cadets get the best experience of both. In total, there are over 130 Cadets, with more than 100 attending this outdoor exercise.

Lieutenant Colonel Ray Ogg BEM, Contingent Commandant of The Kings’ School CCF, commented:  “It’s great to get the Cadets out in the field at last. Navigating their way around the woods, cooking ration packs on a camp fire, all these things they’ve learned on paper can be put into action. They gain so much from it.  Life-long friendships are formed from having to work as a team, overcome obstacles and show resilience.”

Paula Barton, Flight Lieutenant of the RAF Air Cadets section, said: “It’s amazing to see the difference it makes to the self-confidence of these boys. They join not quite knowing what to expect, nervous as to whether they will be able to do many of the activities. But when you see them in just a short time determined to achieve what they can, and after just a year or so, their confidence has grown so much, it’s really rewarding.”

Cadets kneeling in a line in a field.

For many of the younger Cadets, this was their first field exercise.

Developing personal leadership skills

Pupils in year 9 and above that wish to be a part of the CCF meet weekly, out of school hours.  During these training evenings, they will learn everything from first aid to navigation, shooting to team-building exercises.

All of these skills can be put into action when the Cadets are able to get out in the field and practice them.  This weekend’s exercise, at Wyville, near Grantham, included navigation skills, command tasks, rations and kit packing. For many, having just joined recently, and under the cloud of Covid 19, this was the first opportunity for them to get out in the field. Uniquely, the various activities were led by the senior Cadets, as part of their personal development in leadership and training. Such opportunities help boost self-confidence, responsibility, resilience and resourcefulness, personal attributes that will remain of value throughout the Cadets’ lives.

Lincolnshire Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet appointed from The King’s School

An Adult Volunteer talks to a young Cadet holding a map. An older Cadet is stood in the background.

Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet Kaviru watches on.

A great example of this leadership development is that of Sergeant Kaviru De Zoysa, who was recently appointed Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet for the CCF in Lincolnshire. Kaviru commented: “Being Lord Lieutenant’s Cadet, what an honour, to be honest.  A great privilege to meet any royals and be going to great things, it’s amazing!”.  Sergeant De Zoysa already has some very important dates lined up in his diary to accompany the Lord-Lieutenant Lincolnshire at upcoming events.

Further activities are planned for later in the year, which build the Cadets’ skills through the year and culminate in a summer camp, where they can all be put into practice. Cadets also have the opportunity to take part in competitions against other Cadet units, demonstrating their skills in drill, weapon handling etc.

Even if your school doesn’t offer a CCF, you can join the community Cadets near you. Find your local unit on our interactive map.